Securing the Future of Science: Using the Higgs to Inspire the Young

Sunday, 16 February 2014: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Acapulco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Big science inspires: a 2009 U.K. survey of physics undergraduates revealed 90 percent of respondents were first attracted to science by the fundamental questions about the universe posed by particle and nuclear physics, space science, and astronomy. Since 2003, the global particle physics community has successfully sought to translate initial interest into firm commitment, with a clear goal to increase the number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates from high school and university. In the U.K. alone, despite a tripling of undergraduate fees, enrollment in physics rose 8.3 percent in 2012 against an overall 8.7 percent fall in university admissions. The British success is attributed to an integrated national campaign, organized in close collaboration with CERN, and operated as a partnership between the particle physics community, its funding body, learned societies, and educational organizations, with international engagement and sharing of ideas. The campaign, and similar efforts in the U.S. and Europe, involves direct engagement between researchers and students, training for teachers, development of curriculum material, mass media campaigns, and events targeting elected officials and senior decision-makers in government and industry so as to demonstrate the longer-term economic and societal benefits of investment in “Big Science." This session includes an overview of these efforts, lessons learned for researchers including assessment and monitoring, and specific examples of successes relevant to other disciplines.
Terry O'Connor, Science and Technology Facilities Council
Timothy Meyer, TRIUMF
Terry O'Connor, Science and Technology Facilities Council
John Womersley, Science and Technology Facilities Council
How the Higgs Boson Achieved Rock Star Status
James Gillies, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
The Challenges of Coordinating Global Science Communications
Marjorie G. Bardeen, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Bringing Higgs Bosons into High Schools
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